1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hindostani

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HINDOSTANI (properly Hindōstāni, of or belonging to Hindostan[1]), the name given by Europeans to an Indo-Aryan dialect (whose home is in the upper Gangetic Doab and near the city of Delhi), which, owing to political causes, has become the great lingua franca of modern India. The name is not employed by natives of India, except as an imitation of the English nomenclature. Hindostani is by origin a dialect of Western Hindi, and it is first of all necessary to explain what we mean by the term “Hindi” as applied to language. Modern Indo-Aryan languages fall into three groups,—an outer band, the language of the Midland and an intermediate band. The Midland consists of the Gangetic Doab and of the country to its immediate north and south, extending, roughly speaking, from the Eastern Punjab on the west, to Cawnpore on its east. The language of this tract is called “Western Hindi”; to its west we have Panjabi (of the Central Punjab), and to the east, reaching as far as Benares, Eastern Hindi, both Intermediate languages. These three will all be dealt with in the present article. Panjabi and Western Hindi are derived from Śaurasēnī, and Eastern Hindi from Ardham gadhā Prakrit, through the corresponding Apabhraṁśas (see Prakrit). Eastern Hindi differs in many respects from the two others, but it is customary to consider it together with the language of the Midland, and this will be followed on the present occasion. In 1901 the speakers of these three languages numbered: Panjabi, 17,070,961; Western Hindi, 40,714,925; Eastern Hindi, 22,136,358.

Linguistic Boundaries.—Taking the tract covered by these three forms of speech, it has to its west, in the western Punjab, Lanndā (see Sindhi), a language of the Outer band. The parent of Lahndā once no doubt covered the whole of the Punjab, but, in the process of expansion of the tribes of the Midland described in the article Indo-Aryan Languages, it was gradually driven back, leaving traces of its former existence which grow stronger as we proceed westwards, until at about the 74th degree of east longitude there is a mixed, transition dialect. To the west of that degree Lahndā may be said to be established, the deserts of the west-central Punjab forming a barrier and protecting it, just as, farther south, a continuation of the same desert has protected Sindhi from Rajasthani. It is the old traces of Lahndā which mainly differentiate Panjabi from Hindostani. To the south of Panjabi and Western Hindi lies Rajasthani. This language arose in much the same way as Panjabi. The expanding Midland language was stopped by the desert from reaching Sindhi, but to the south-west it found an unobstructed way into Gujarat, where, under the form of Gujarati, it broke the continuity of the Outer band. Eastern Hindi, as an Intermediate form of speech, is of much older lineage. It has been an Intermediate language since, at least, the institution of Jainism (say, 500 B.C.), and is much less subject to the influence of the Midland than is Panjabi. To its east it has Bihari, and, stretching far to the south, it has Marathi as its neighbour in that direction, both of these being Outer languages.

Dialects.—The only important dialect of Eastern Hindi is Awadhī, spoken in Oudh, and possessing a large literature of great excellence. Chhattīsgaṛhī and Baghēlī, the other dialects, have scanty literatures of small value. Western Hindi has four main dialects, Bundēlī of Bundelkhand, Braj Bhasha (properly “Braj Bhāṣā”) of the country round Mathura (Muttra), Kanaujī of the central Doab and the country to its north, and vernacular Hindostani of Delhi and the Upper Doab. West of the Upper Doab, across the Jumna, another dialect, Bāngarū, is also found. It possesses no literature. Kanauji is very closely allied to Braj Bhasha, and these two share with Awadhi the honour of being the great literary speeches of northern India. Nearly all the classical literature of India is religious in character, and we may say that, as a broad rule, Awadhi literature is devoted to the Ramaite religion and the epic poetry connected with it, while that of Braj Bhasha is concerned with the religion of Krishna. Vernacular Hindostani has no literature of its own, but as the lingua franca now to be described it has a large one. Panjabi has one dialect, Dōgrī, spoken in the Himalayas.

Hindostani as a Lingua Franca.—It has often been said that Hindostani is a mongrel “pigeon” form of speech made up of contributions from the various languages which met in Delhi bazaar, but this theory has now been proved to be unfounded, owing to the discovery of the fact that it is an actual living dialect of Western Hindi, existing for centuries in its present habitat, and the direct descendant of Śaurasēnī Prakrit. It is not a typical dialect of that language, for, situated where it is, it represents Western Hindi merging into Panjabi (Braj Bhasha being admittedly the standard of the language), but to say that it is a mongrel tongue thrown together in the market is to reverse the order of events. It was the natural language of the people in the neighbourhood of Delhi, who formed the bulk of those who resorted to the bazaar, and hence it became the bazaar language. From here it became the lingua franca of the Mogul camp and was carried everywhere in India by the lieutenants of the empire. It has several recognized varieties, amongst which we may mention Dakhinī, Urdū, Rēkhta and Hindī. Dakhini or “southern,” is the form current in the south of India, and was the first to be employed for literature. It contains many archaic expressions now extinct in the standard dialect. Urdu, or Urdū zabān, “the language of the camp,” is the name usually employed for Hindostani by natives, and is now the standard form of speech used by Mussulmans. All the early Hindostani literature was in poetry, and this literary form of speech was named “Rēkhta,” or “scattered,” from the way in which words borrowed from Persian were “scattered” through it. The name is now reserved for the dialect used in poetry, Urdu being the dialect of prose and of conversation. The introduction of these borrowed words, which has been carried to even a greater extent in Urdu, was facilitated by the facts that the latter was by origin a “camp” language, and that Persian was the official language of the Mogul court. In this way Persian (and, with Persian, Arabic) words came into current use, and, though the language remained Indo-Aryan in its grammar and essential characteristics, it soon became unintelligible to any one who had not at least a moderate acquaintance with the vocabulary of Iran. This extreme Persianization of Urdu was due rather to Hindu than to Persian influence. Although Urdu literature was Mussulman in its origin, the Persian element was first introduced in excess by the pliant Hindu officials employed in the Mogul administration, and acquainted with Persian, rather than by Persians and Persianized Moguls, who for many centuries used only their own languages for literary purposes.[2] Prose Urdu literature took its origin in the English occupation of India and the need for text-books for the college of Fort William. It has had a prosperous career since the commencement of the 19th century, but some writers, especially those of Lucknow, have so overloaded it with Persian and Arabic that little of the original Indo-Aryan character remains, except, perhaps, an occasional pronoun or auxiliary verb. The Hindi form of Hindostani was invented simultaneously with Urdu prose by the teachers at Fort William. It was intended to be a Hindostani for the use of Hindus, and was derived from Urdu by ejecting all words of Persian or Arabic birth, and substituting for them words either borrowed from Sanskrit (tatsamas) or derived from the old primary Prakrit (tadbhavas) (see Indo-Aryan Languages). Owing to the popularity of the first book written in it, and to its supplying the need for a lingua franca which could be used by the most patriotic Hindus without offending their religious prejudices, it became widely adopted, and is now the recognized vehicle for writing prose by those inhabitants of northern India who do not employ Urdu. This Hindi, which is an altogether artificial product of the English, is hardly ever used for poetry. For this the indigenous dialects (usually Awadhi or Braj Bhasha) are nearly always employed by Hindus. Urdu, on the other hand, having had a natural growth, has a vigorous poetical literature. Modern Hindi prose is often disfigured by that too free borrowing of Sanskrit words instead of using home-born tadbhavas, which has been the ruin of Bengali, and it is rapidly becoming a Hindu counterpart of the Persianized Urdu, neither of which is intelligible except to persons of high education.

Not only has Urdu adopted a Persian vocabulary, but even a few peculiarities of Persian construction, such as reversing the positions of the governing and the governed word (e.g. báp mērā for mērā bāp), or of the adjective and the substantive it qualifies, or such as the use of Persian phrases with the preposition ba instead of the native postposition of the ablative case (e.g. ba-khushí for khushī-sē, or ba-ḥukm sarkār-kē instead of sarkār-kē ḥukm-sē) are to be met with in many writings; and these, perhaps, combined with the too free indulgence on the part of some authors in the use of high-flown and pedantic Persian and Arabic words in place of common and yet chaste Indian words, and the general use of the Persian instead of the Nāgarī character, have induced some to regard Hindostani or Urdu as a language distinct from Hindi. But such a view betrays a radical misunderstanding of the whole question. We must define Urdu as the Persianized Hindostani of educated Mussulmans, while Hindi is the Sanskritized Hindostani of educated Hindus. As for the written character, Urdu, from the number of Persian words which it contains, can only be written conveniently in the Persian character, while Hindi, for a parallel reason, can only be written in the Nagari or one of its related alphabets (see Sanskrit). On the other hand, “Hindostani” implies the great lingua franca of India, capable of being written in either character, and, without purism, avoiding the excessive use of either Persian or Sanskrit words when employed for literature. It is easy to write this Hindostani, for it has an opulent vocabulary of tadbhava words understood everywhere by both Mussulmans and Hindus. While “Hindostani,” “Urdu” and “Hindi” are thus names of dialects, it should be remembered that the terms “Western Hindi” and “Eastern Hindi” connote, not dialects, but languages.

The epoch of Akbar, which first saw a regular revenue system established, with toleration and the free use of their religion to the Hindus, was, there can be little doubt, the period of the formation of the language. But its final consolidation did not take place till the reign of Shah Jahān. After the date of this monarch the changes are comparatively immaterial until we come to the time when European sources began to mingle with those of the East. Of the contributions from these sources there is little to say. Like the greater part of those from Arabic and Persian, they are chiefly nouns, and may be regarded rather as excrescences which have sprung up casually and have attached themselves to the original trunk than as ingredients duly incorporated in the body. In the case of the Persian and Arabic element, indeed, we do find not a few instances in which nouns have been furnished with a Hindi termination, e.g. kharīdnā, badalnā, guzarnā, gh, bakhshnaā, kamīnapan, &c.; but the European element cannot be said to have at all woven itself into the grammar of the language. It consists, as has been observed, solely of nouns, principally substantive nouns, which on their admission into the language are spelt phonetically, or according to the corrupt pronunciation they receive in the mouths of the natives, and are declined like the indigenous nouns by means of the usual postpositions or case-affixes. A few examples will suffice. The Portuguese, the first in order of seniority, contributes a few words, as kamarā or kamrā (camera), a room; mārtōl (martello), a hammer; nīlām (leilão), an auction, &c. &c. Of French and Dutch influence scarcely a trace exists. English has contributed a number of words, some of which have even found a place in the literature of the language; e.g. kamishanar (commissioner); jaj (judge); ḍākṭar (doctor); ḍākṭarī, “the science of medicine” or “the profession of physicians”; inspēkṭar (inspector); isṭanṭ (assistant); sōsayaṭí (society); apīl (appeal); apīl karnā, “to appeal”; ḍikrī or ḍigrī (decree); ḍigrī (degree); inc (inch); fut (foot); and many more, are now words commonly used. Some borrowed words are distorted into the shape of genuine Hindostani words familiar to the speakers; e.g. the English railway term “signal” has become sikandar, the native name for Alexander the Great, and “signal-man” is sikandar-mān, or “the pride of Alexander.” How far the free use of Anglicisms will be adopted as the language progresses is a question upon which it would be hazardous to pronounce an opinion, but of late years it has greatly increased in the language of the educated, especially in the case of technical terms. A native veterinary surgeon once said to the present writer, “kuttē-kā saliva bahut antiseptic hai” for “a dog’s saliva is very antiseptic,” and this is not an extravagant example.[3]

The vocabulary of Panjabi and Eastern Hindi is very similar to that of Western Hindi. Panjabi has no literature to speak of and is free from the burden of words borrowed from Persian or Sanskrit, only the commonest and simplest of such being found in it. Its vocabulary is thus almost entirely tadbhava, and, while capable of expressing all ideas, it has a charming rustic flavour, like the Lowland Scotch of Burns, indicative of the national character of the sturdy peasantry that employs it. Eastern Hindi is very like Panjabi in this respect, but for a different reason. In it were written the works of Tulsī Dās, one of the greatest writers that India has produced, and his influence on the language has been as great as that of Shakespeare on English. The peasantry are continually quoting him without knowing it, and his style, simple and yet vigorous, thoroughly Indian and yet free from purism, has set a model which is everywhere followed except in the large towns where Urdu or Sanskritized Hindi prevails. Eastern Hindi is written in the Nāgarī alphabet, or in the current character related to it called “Kaithi” (see Bihari). The indigenous alphabet of the Punjab is called Laṇḍā or “clipped.” It is related to Nāgarī, but is hardly legible to any one except the original writer, and sometimes not even to him. To remedy this defect an improved form of the alphabet was devised in the 16th century by Angad, the fifth Sikh Guru, for the purpose of recording the Sikh scriptures. It was named Gurmukhī, “proceeding from the mouth of the Guru,” and is now generally used for writing the language.

Grammar.—In the following account we use these contractions: Skr. = Sanskrit;   Pr. = Prakrit;   Ap. = Apabhraṁśa;   W.H. = Western Hindi;   E.H. = Eastern Hindi;   H. = Hindostani;   Br. = Braj Bhasha;   P. = Panjabi.

(A) Phonetics.—The phonetic system of all three languages is nearly the same as that of the Apabhraṁśas from which they are derived. With a few exceptions, to be noted below, the letters of the alphabets of the three languages are the same as in Sanskrit. Panjabi, and the western dialects of Western Hindi, have preserved the old Vedic cerebral l. There is a tendency for concurrent vowels to run into each other, and for the semi-vowels y and v to become vowels. Thus, Skr. carmakāras, Ap. cammaāru, a leather-worker, becomes H. camār; Skr. rajani, Ap. ra(y)aṇi, H. rain, night; Skr. dhavalakas, Ap. dhavalau, H. dhaulā, white. Sometimes the semi-vowel is retained, as in Skr. kātaras, Ap. kā(y)aru, H. kāyar, a coward. Almost the only compound consonants which survived in the Pr. stage were double letters, and in W.H. and E.H. these are usually simplified, the preceding vowel being lengthened and sometimes nasalized, in compensation. P., on the other hand, prefers to retain the double consonant. Thus, Skr. karma, Ap. kammu, W.H. and E.H. kām, but P. kamm, a work; Skr. satyas, Ap. saccu, W.H. and E.H. sāc, but P. sacc, true (H., being the W.H. dialect which lies nearest to P., often follows that language, and in this instance has sacc, usually written sac); Skr. hastas, Ap. hatthu, W.H. and E.H. hāth, but P. hatth, a hand. The nasalization of vowels is very frequent in all three languages, and is here represented by the sign ~ over the vowel. Sometimes it is compensatory, as in sā̃c, but it often represents an original m, as in kawãl from Skr. kamalas, a lotus. Final short vowels quiesce in prose pronunciation, and are usually not written in transliteration; thus the final a, i or u has been lost in all the examples given above, and other tatsama examples are Skr. mati-which becomes mat, mind, and Skr. vastu-, which becomes bast, a thing. In all poetry, however (except in the Urdū poetry formed on Persian models, and under the rules of Persian prosody), they reappear and are necessary for the scansion.

In tadbhava words an original long vowel in any syllable earlier than the penultimate is shortened. In P. and H. when the long vowel is ē or ō it is shortened to i or u respectively, but in other W.H. dialects and in E.H. it is shortened to e or o; thus, bēṭī, daughter, long form H. biṭiyā, E.H. beṭiyā; ghōṛī, mare, long form H. ghuṛiyā, E.H. ghoṛiyā. The short vowels e and o are very rare in P. and H., but are not uncommon (though ignored by most grammars) in E.H. and the other W.H. dialects. A medial is pronounced as a strongly burred cerebral , and is then written as shown, with a supposited dot. All these changes and various contractions of Prakrit syllables have caused considerable variations in the forms of words, but generally not so as to obscure the origin.

(B) Declension.—The nominative form of a tadbhava word is derived from the nominative form in Sanskrit and Prakrit, but tatsama words are usually borrowed in the form of the Skr. crude base; thus, Skr. hastin-, nom. hastī, Ap. nom. hatthī, H. hāthī, an elephant; Skr. base mati-, nom. matis, H. (tatsama) mati, or, with elision of the final short vowel, mat. Some tatsamas are, however, borrowed in the nominative form, as in Skr. dhanin-, nom. dhanī, H. dhanī, a rich man. As another example of a tadbhava word, we may take the Skr. nom. ghōṭas, Ap. ghōḍu, H. ghōṛ, a horse. Here again the final short vowel has been elided, but in old poetry we should find ghōṛu, and corresponding forms in u are occasionally met with at the present day.

In the article Prakrit attention is drawn to the frequent use of pleonastic suffixes, especially -ka- (fem.-(i)). With such a suffix we have the Skr. ghōṭa-kas, Ap. ghōḍa-u, Western Hindi ghoṛau, or in P. and H. (which is the W.H. dialect nearest in locality to P.) ghōṛā, a horse; Skr. ghōṭi-kā, Ap. ghōḍi-ā, W.H. and P. ghōḍī, a mare. Such modern forms made with one pleonastic suffix are called “strong forms,” while those made without it are called “weak forms.” All strong forms end in au (or ā) in the masculine, and in ī in the feminine, whereas, in Skr., and hence in tatsamas, both ā and ī are generally typical of feminine words, though sometimes employed for the masculine. It is shown in the article Prakrit that these pleonastic suffixes can be doubled, or even trebled, and in this way we have a new series of tadbhava forms. Let us take the imaginary Skr. *ghōṭa-ka-kas with a double suffix. From this we have the Ap. ghōḍa-a-u, and modern ghoṛawā (with euphonic w inserted), a horse. Similarly for the feminine we have Skr. *ghōṭi-ka-kā, Ap. ghōḍi-a-ā, modern ghoṛiyā (with euphonic y inserted), a mare. Such forms, made with two suffixes, are called “long forms,” and are heard in familiar conversation, the feminine also serving as diminutives. There is a further stage, built upon three suffixes, and called the “redundant form,” which is mainly used by the vulgar. As a rule masculine long forms end in -awā, -iyā or -, and feminines in -iyā, although the matter is complicated by the occasional use of pleonastic suffixes other than the -ka- which we have taken for our example, and is the most common. Strong forms are rarely met with in E.H., but on the other hand long forms are more common in that language.

There are a few feminine terminations of weak nouns which may be noted. These are -inī, -in, -an, - (Skr. -inī, Pr. -iṇī); and -ānī, -āni, -āin (Skr. -ānī, Pr. -āṇī). These are found not only in words derived from Prakrit, but are added to Persian and even Arabic words; thus, hathinī, hathnī, hāthin (Skr. hastinī, Pr. hatthiṇī), a she-elephant; sunārin, sunāran, a female goldsmith (sōnār); shērnī, a tigress (Persian shēr, a tiger); Naṣīban, a proper name (Arabic naṣīb); paṇḍitānī, the wife of a paṇḍit; caudhrāin, the wife of a caudhrī or head man; mehtrānī, the wife of a sweeper (Pres. mehtar, a sweeper). With these exceptions weak forms rarely have any terminations distinctive of gender.[4]

The synthetic declension of Sanskrit and Prakrit has disappeared. We see it in the actual stage of disappearance in Apabhraṁśa (see Prakrit), in which the case terminations had become worn down to -hu, -ho, -hi, - and -, of which -hi and -hī̃ were employed for several cases, both singular and plural. There was also a marked tendency for these terminations to be confused, and in the earliest stages of the modern vernaculars we find -hi freely employed for any oblique case of the singular, and -hī̃ for any oblique case of the plural, but more especially for the genitive and the locative. In the case of modern weak nouns these terminations have disappeared altogether in W.H. and P. except in sporadic forms of the locative such as gā̃wē (for gā̃wahi), in the village. In E.H. they are still heard as the termination of a form which can stand for any oblique case, and is called the “oblique form” or the “oblique case.” Thus, from ghar, a house (a weak noun), we have W.H. and P. oblique form ghar, E.H. gharahi, gharē or ghar. In the plural, the oblique form is sometimes founded on the Ap. terminations - and -hu, and sometimes on the Skr. termination of the genitive plural -ānām (Pr. -āṇa, -aṇhaṃ), as in P. gharā̃, W.H. gharaū̃, gharō̃, gharani, E.H. gharan. In the case of masculine weak forms, the plural nominative has dropped the old termination, except in E.H., where it has adopted the oblique plural form for this case also, thus gharan. The nominative plural of feminine weak forms follows the example of the masculine in E.H. In P. it also takes the oblique plural form, while in W.H. it takes the old singular oblique form in -ahĩ, which it weakens to or (H.) ē̃; thus bāt (fem.), a word, nom. plur. E.H. bāt-an, P. bāt-ā̃, W.H. bātaĩ or (H.) bāte.

Strong masculine bases in Ap. ended in -a-a (nom. -a-u); thus ghōḍa-a- (nom. ghōḍa-u), and adding -hi we get ghōḍa-a-hi, which becomes contracted ghōḍāhi and finally to ghōṛē. The nominative plural is the same as the oblique singular, except in E.H. where it follows the oblique plural. The oblique plural of all closely follows in principle the weak forms. Feminine strong forms in Ap. ended in -i-ā, contracted to ī in the modern languages. Except in E.H. the -hi of the original oblique form singular disappears, so that we have E.H. ghōṛihi or ghōṛī, others only ghōṛī. The nominative plural of feminine strong forms exhibits some irregularities. In E.H., as usual, it follows the plural oblique forms. In W.H. (except Hindostani) it simply nasalizes the oblique form singular (i.e. adds -hī̃ instead of -hi), as in ghōrī̃. P. and H. adopt the oblique long form for the plural and nasalize it, thus, P. ghōṛīā̃, H. ghōṛiyā̃. The oblique plurals call for no further remarks. We thus get the following summary, illustrating the way in which these nominative and oblique forms are made.

 Panjabi.   Hindostani.  Braj Bhasha.  Eastern Hindi. 





 Weak Noun Masc.—
 Nom. Sing.  ghar  ghar  ghar  ghar
 Obl. Sing.  ghar  ghar  ghar  ghar, gharahi
 Nom. Plur.  ghar  ghar  ghar  gharan
 Obl. Plur.  gharā̃  gharō̃  gharaũ, gharani  gharan
 Strong Noun Masc.— 
 Nom. Sing.  ghōṛā  ghōṛā  ghōṛau  ghōṛā
 Obl. Sing.  ghōṛē  ghōṛē  ghōṛē, ghōṛai  ghōṛā, ghōṛē
 Nom. Plur.  ghōṛē  ghōṛē  ghōṛē  ghōṛan
 Obl. Plur.  ghōṛiā̃  ghōṛō̃  ghōṛaũ, ghōṛani  ghōṛan
 Weak Noun Fem.—
 Nom. Sing.  bāt  bāt  bāt  bāt
 Obl. Sing.  bāt  bāt  bāt  bāt
 Nom. Plur.  bātā̃  bātē̃  bātaī  bātan
 Obl. Plur.  bātā̃  bātō̃  bātaũ, bātani  bātan
 Strong Noun Fem.—
 Nom. Sing.  ghōṛī  ghōṛī  ghōṛī  ghōṛī
 Obl. Sing.  ghōṛī  ghōṛī  ghōṛī  ghōṛī, ghōṛihi
 Nom. Plur.  ghōṛīā̃  ghōṛiyā̃  ghōṛī̃  ghōṛin
  Obl. Plur.  ghōṛīā̃  ghōṛiyō̃  ghōṛiyaũ, ghōṛiyani   ghōṛin

We have seen that the oblique form is the resultant of a general melting down of all the oblique cases of Sanskrit and Prakrit, and that in consequence it can be used for any oblique case. It is obvious that if it were so employed it would often give rise to great confusion. Hence, when it is necessary to show clearly what particular case is intended, it is usual to add defining particles corresponding to the English prepositions “of,” “to,” “from,” “by,” &c., which, as in all Indo-Aryan languages they follow the main word, are here called “postpositions.” The following are the postpositions commonly employed to form cases in our three languages:—

   Agent.   Genitive.   Dative.   Ablative.   Locative. 






 Panjabi  nai    nū̃    vicc
 Hindostani          mē̃
 Braj Bhasha  nē̃  kau  kaũ  tē̃, saũ  maĩ
 Eastern Hindi   None  kēr, k  kā̃    mē̃bikhē 

The agent case is the case which a noun takes when it is the subject of a transitive verb in a tense formed from the past participle. This participle is passive in origin, and must be construed passively. In the Prakrit stage the subject was in such cases put into the instrumental case (see Prakrit), as in the phrase ahaṁ tēṇa māriō, I by-him (was) struck, i.e. he struck me. In Eastern Hindi this is still the case, the old instrumental being represented by the oblique form without any suffix. The other two languages define the fact that the subject is in the instrumental (or agent) case by the addition of the postposition , &c., an old form employed elsewhere to define the dative. It is really the oblique form (by origin a locative) of or , which is employed in Gujarati (q.v.) for the genitive. As this suffix is never employed to indicate a material instrument but here only to indicate the agent or subject of a verb, it is called the postposition of the “agent” case.

The genitive postpositions have an interesting origin. In Buddhist Sanskrit the words kr̥tas, done, and kr̥tyas, to be done, were added to a noun to form a kind of genitive. A synonym of kr̥tyas was kāryas. These three words were all adjectives, and agreed with the thing possessed in gender, number, and case; thus, māla-kr̥tē karaṇḍē, in the basket of the garland, literally, in the garland-made basket. In the various dialects of Apabhraṁśa Prakrit kr̥tas became (strong form) kida-u or kia-u, kr̥tyas became kicca-u, and kāryas became kēra-u or kajja-u, the initial k of which is liable to elision after a vowel. With the exception of Gujarati (and perhaps Marathi, q.v.) every Indo-Aryan language has genitive postpositions derived from one or other of these forms. Thus from (ki)da-u we have Panjabi ; from kia-u we have H. , Br. kau, E.H. and Bihari k and Naipali ; from (ki)cca-u we have perhaps Marathi ; from kēra-u, E.H. and Bihari kēr, kar, Bengali Oriya and Assamese -r, and Rajasthani -; while from (ka)jja-u we have the Sindhi . It will be observed that while k, kēr, kar, and r are weak forms, the rest are strong. As already stated, the genitive is an adjective. Bāp means “father,” and bāp-kā ghōrā is literally “the paternal horse.” Hence (while the weak forms as usual do not change) these genitives agree with the thing possessed in gender, number, and case. Thus, bāp-kā ghōṛā, the horse of the father, but bāp-kī ghōṛī, the mare of the father, and bāp-kē ghōṛē-kō, to the horse of the father, the being put into the oblique case masculine , to agree with ghōṛē, which is itself in an oblique case. The details of the agreement vary slightly in P. and W.H., and must be learnt from the grammars. The E.H. weak forms do not change in the modern language. Finally, in Prakrit it was customary to add these postpositions (kēra-u, &c.) to the genitive, as in mama or mama kēra-u, of me. Similarly these postpositions are, in the modern languages, added to the oblique form.

The locative of the Sanskrit kr̥tas, kr̥tē, was used in that language as a dative postposition, and it can be shown that all the dative postpositions given above are by origin old oblique forms of some genitive postposition. Thus H. , Br. kaũ, is a contraction of kahũ, an old oblique form of kia-u. Similarly for the others. The origin of the ablative postpositions is obscure. To the present writer they all seem (like the Bengal haïtē) to be connected with the verb substantive, but their derivation has not been definitely fixed. The locative postpositions mē̃ and maī are derived from the Skr. madhyē, in, through majjhi, māhī, and so on. The derivation of vicc and bikhē is obscure.

Apabhraṁśa.  Panjabi.   Hindostani.  Braj
Bhasha.
 Eastern 
Hindi.






 I, Nom. 
Obl. 
 haū  maī  maĩ  haũ  maī
 maīmahumajjhu   mai  mujh  mohi  
 WE, Nom. 
Obl. 
 amhē  asī̃  ham  ham  ham
 amahã  asā  hamō̃  hamaūhamani   ham
 THOU Nom. 
Obl. 
 tuhũ  tū̃      taĩ
 taĩ, tuha, tujjhu  tai  tujh  tohi  
 YOU, Nom. 
Obl. 
 tumhē  tusī̃  tum  tum  tum
 tumhahã  tusā  tumhō̃  tumhaū  tum

The pronouns closely follow the Prakrit originals. This will be evident from the preceding table of the first two personal pronouns compared with Apabhraṁśa.

It will be observed that in most of the nominatives of the first person, and in the E.H. nominative of the second person, the old nominative has disappeared, and its place has been supplied by an oblique form, exactly as we have observed in the nominative plural of nouns substantive. The P. asī̃, tusī̃, &c., are survivals from the old Lahndā (see Linguistic Boundaries, above). The genitives of these two pronouns are rarely used, possessive pronouns (in H. mērā, my; hamārā, our; tērā, thy; tumhārā, your) being employed instead. They can all (except P. asāḍā, our; tusāḍā, your, which are Lahndā) be referred to corresponding Ap. forms.

There is no pronoun of the third person, the demonstrative pronouns being used instead. The following table shows the principal remaining pronominal forms, with their derivation from Ap.:—

 Apabhraṁśa.   Panjabi.   Hindostani.  Braj
 Bhasha. 
 Eastern 
Hindi.






 THAT, HE, Nom. 
Obl. 
?  uh  woh    ū
? uh us ō
 THOSE, THEY, Nom. 
Obl. 
 ōi ōh wai unh
? unhā̃ unh uni unh
 THIS, HE, Nom. 
Obl. 
 ēhu  ih  yeh  yah  ī
ēhasu, ēhaho   ih is ē
 THESE, THEY, Nom. 
Obl. 
 ēi ēh yai inh
ēhāṇa inhā̃ inh ini inh
 THAT, Nom. 
Obl. 
         
tasu, taho tih tis
 THOSE, Nom. 
Obl. 
tāṇa tinhā̃ tinh tini tenh
 WHO, Nom. 
Obl. 
         
jasu, jaho jih jis
 WHO (pl.), Nom. 
Obl. 
jāṇa jinhā̃ jinh jini jenh
 WHO? Nom. 
Obl. 
 kō, kawaṇu  kauṇ  kaun    
kasu, kaho kih kis
 WHO? (pl.), Nom. 
Obl. 
kauṇ kaun
kāṇa kinhā̃ kinh kini kenh
 WHAT? (Neut.),  Nom. 
Obl. 
 kiṁ  kiā  kyā  kahā  
kāha, kāsu kāh, kās  kāhē kāhē kāhē

The origin of the first pronoun given above (that, he; those, they) cannot be referred to Sanskrit. It is derived from an Indo-Aryan base which was not admitted to the classical literary language, but of which we find sporadic traces in Apabhraṁśa. The existence of this base is further vouched for by its occurrence in the Iranian language of the Avesta under the form ava-. The base of the second pronoun is the same as the base of the first syllable in the Skr. ē-ṣas, this, and other connected pronouns, and also occurs in the Avesta. Ap. ēhu is directly derived from ē-sas.

There are other pronominal forms upon which, except perhaps kōī (Pr. kō-vi, Skr. kō-’pi), any one, it is unnecessary to dwell. The phrase kōī hai? “Is any one (there)?” is the usual formula for calling a servant in upper India, and is the origin of the Anglo-Indian word “Qui-hi.” The reflexive pronoun is āp (Ap. appu, Skr. ātmā), self, which, something like the Latin suus (Skr. svas), always refers to the subject of the sentence, but to all persons, not only to the third. Thus maĩ apnē (not mērē) bāp-kō dēkhtā-hū̃, “I see my father.”

C. Conjugation.—The synthetic conjugation was already commencing to disappear in Prakrit, and in the modern languages the only original tenses which remain are the present, the imperative, and here and there the future. The first is now generally employed as a present subjunctive. In the accompanying table we have the conjugation of this tense, and also the three participles, present active, and past and future passive, compared with Apabhraṁśa, the verb selected being the intransitive root call or cal, go. In Ap. the word may be spelt with one or with two ls, which accounts for the variations of spelling in the modern languages.

The imperative closely resembles the old present, except that it drops all terminations in the 2nd person singular; thus, cal, go thou.

In P. and H. a future is formed by adding the syllable (fem. ) to the simple present. Thus, H. calū̃-gā, I shall go. The is commonly said to be derived from the Skr. gatas (Pr. gaō), gone, but this suggestion is not altogether acceptable to the present writer, although he is not now able to propose a better. Under the form of -gau the same termination is used in Br., but in that dialect the old future has also survived, as in calihaũ (Ap. calihaũ, Skr. caliṣyāmi), I shall go, which is conjugated like the simple present. The E.H. formation of the future is closely analogous to what we find in Bihari (q.v.). The third person is formed as in Braj Bhasha, but the first and second persons are formed by adding pronominal suffixes, meaning “by me,” “by thee,” &c., to the future passive participle.

 Apabhraṁśa.   Panjabi.   Hindostani.  Braj
 Bhasha. 
 Eastern 
Hindī.






 Old Present—
 Singular 1.  callaũ  callā̃  calū̃  calaũ  calaū
 Singular 2.  callasi, callahi  callē̃  calē  calai  calas
 Singular 3.  callai  callē  calē  calai  calai
 Plural   1.  callahū  calliyē  calē̃  calaī  calaī
 Plural   2.  callahu  callō  calō  calau  calau
 Plural   3.  callanti, callahĩ   callaṇ  calē̃  calaī  calaī
 Present Participle  callanta-u  calldā  caltā  calatu  calat
 Past Part. Passive  callia-u  calliā  calā  calyau  calā
 Future Part. Passive   callaṇia-u  callṇā  calnā  calnaũ  
 calliavva-u . . . .  caliwaũ  calab

Thus, calab-ū̃, it-is-to-be-gone by-me, I shall go. We thus get the following forms. It will be observed that, as in many other Indo-Aryan languages, the first person plural has no suffix:—

Sing.  Plur.
1. calabũ calab
2. calabē calabō
3. calihai calihaĩ

In old E.H. the future participle passive, calab, takes no suffix for any person, and is used for all persons.

The last remark leads us to a class of tenses in P. and W.H., in which a participle, by itself, can be employed for any person of a finite tense. A few examples of the use of the present and past participles will show the construction. They are all taken from Hindostani. Woh caltā, he goes; woh caltī, she goes; maī calā, I went; woh calī, she went; wē calē, they went. The present participle in this construction, though it may be used to signify the present, is more commonly employed to signify a past conditional “(if) he had gone.” It will have been observed that in the above examples, in all of which the verb is intransitive, the past as well as the present participle agrees with the subject in gender and number; but, if the verb be transitive, the passive meaning of the past participle comes into force. The subject must be put into the case of the agent, and the participle inflects to agree with the object. If the object be not expressed, or, as sometimes happens, be expressed in the dative case, the participle is construed impersonally, and takes the masculine (for want of a neuter) form. Thus, maī-nē kahā, by-me it-was-said, i.e. I said; us-nē ciṭṭhī likhī, by-him a-letter (fem.) was-written, he wrote a letter; rājā-nē shērnī-kō mārā, the king killed the tigress, lit., by-the-king, with-reference-to-the-tigress, it (impersonal) -was-killed. In the article Prakrit it is shown that the same construction obtained in that language.

In E.H. the construction is the same, but is obscured by the fact that (as in the future) pronominal suffixes are added to the participle to indicate the person of the subject or of the agent, as in calat-eũ, (if) I had gone; cal-eũ, I went; mār-eũ (transitive), I struck, lit., struck-by-me; mār-es, struck-by-him, he struck. If the participle has to be feminine, it (although a weak form) takes the feminine termination i, as in māri-ũ, I struck her; calati-ũ, (if) I (fem.) had gone; cali-ũ, I (fem.) went.

Further tenses are formed by adding the verb substantive to these participles, as in H. maĩ caltā-hū, I am going; maĩ caltā-thā, I was going; maĩ calā-hū, I have gone; maĩ calā-thā, I had gone. These and other auxiliary verbs need not detain us long. They differ in the various languages. For “I am” we have P. hā̃, H. , Br. haũ, E.H. bāṭyeũ or aheũ. For “I was” we have P. or , H. thā, Br. hau or hutau, E.H. raheũ. The H. is thus conjugated:—

Sing.  Plur.
1. hū̃ haĩ
2. hai
3. hai haĩ

The derivation of hā̃, hū̃, haũ, and aheũ is uncertain. They are usually derived from the Skr. asmi, I am; but this presents many difficulties. An old form of the third person singular is hwai, and this points to the Pr. havaï, he is, equivalent to the Skr. bhavati, he becomes. On the other hand this does not account for the initial a of aheũ. This last word is in the form of a past tense, and it may be a secondary formation from asmi. The P. is not a feminine of , as usually stated, but is a survival of the Skr. āsīt, Pr. āsī, was. As in the Prakrit form, is employed for both genders, both numbers and all persons. is a secondary formation from this, on the analogy of the H. thā, which is from the Skr. sthitas, Pr. thiō, stood, and is a participial form like calā; thus, woh thā, he was; woh thī, she was. The Br. hau is a modern past of haū, while hutau is probably by origin a present participle of the Skr. bhũ, become, Pr. huntaō. The E.H. bāṭeũ, is the Skr. vartē, Ap. vaṭṭaũ. Raheũ is the past tense of the root rah, remain.

The future participle passive is everywhere freely used as an infinitive or verbal noun; thus, H. calnā, E.H. calab, the act of going, to go. There is a whole series of derivative verbal forms, making potential passives and transitives from intransitives, and causals (and even double causals) from transitives. Thus dīkhnā, to be seen; potential passive, dikhānā, to be visible; transitive, dēkhnā, to see; causal, dikhlānā, to show.

D. Literature.—The literatures of Western and Eastern Hindi form the subject of a separate article (see Hindostani Literature). Panjabi has no formal literature. Even the Granth, the sacred book of the Sikhs, is mainly in archaic Western Hindi, only a small portion being in Panjabi. On the other hand, the language is peculiarly rich in folksongs and ballads, some of considerable length and great poetic beauty. The most famous is the ballad of Hīr and Rānjhā by Wāris Shāh, which is considered to be a model of pure Panjabi. Colonel Sir Richard Temple has published an important collection of these songs under the title of The Legends of the Punjab (3 vols., Bombay and London, 1884-1900), in which both texts and translations of nearly all the favourite ones are to be found.

Authorities.—(a) General: The two standard authorities are the comparative grammars of J. Beames (1872-1879) and A. F. R. Hoernle (1880), mentioned in the article Indo-Aryan Languages. To these may be added G. A. Grierson, “On the Radical and Participial Tenses of the Modern Indo-Aryan Languages” in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. lxiv. (1895), part i. pp. 352 et seq.; and “On Certain Suffixes in the Modern Indo-Aryan Vernaculars” in the Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der indogermanischen Sprachen for 1903, pp. 473 et seq.

(b) For the separate languages, see C. J. Lyall, A Sketch of the Hindustani Language (Edinburgh, 1880); S. H. Kellogg, A Grammar of the Hindi Language (for both Western and Eastern Hindi), (2nd ed., London, 1893); J. T. Platts, A Grammar of the Hindūstānī or Urdū Language (London, 1874); and A Dictionary of Urdū, Classical Hindi and English (London, 1884); E. P. Newton, Panjābī Grammar: with Exercises and Vocabulary (Ludhiana, 1898); and Bhai Maya Singh, The Panjabi Dictionary (Lahore, 1895). The Linguistic Survey of India, vol. vi., describes Eastern Hindi, and vol. ix., Hindostani and Panjabi, in each instance in great detail.

(G. A. Gr.)
  1. “Hindōstān” is a Persian word, and in modern Persian is pronounced “Hindūstān.” It means the country of the Hindūs. In medieval Persian the word was “Hindōstān,” with an ō, but in the modern language the distinctions between ē and ī and between ō and ū have been lost. Indian languages have borrowed Persian words in their medieval form. Thus in India we have shēr, a tiger, as compared with modern Persian shīr; , but modern Pers. ; bōstān, but modern Pers. būstān. The word “Hindu” is in medieval Persian “Hindō” representing the ancient Avesta hendava (Sanskrit, saindhava), a dweller on the Sindhu or Indus. Owing to the influence of scholars in modern Persian the word “Hindū” is now established in English and, through English, in the Indian literary languages; but “Hindō” is also often heard in India. “Hindostan” with o is much more common both in English and in Indian languages, although “Hindustan” is also employed. Up to the days of Persian supremacy inaugurated in Calcutta by Gilchrist and his friends, every traveller in India spoke of “Indostan” or some such word, thus bearing testimony to the current pronunciation. Gilchrist introduced “Hindoostan,” which became “Hindustan” in modern spelling. The word is not an Indian one, and both pronunciations, with ō and with ū, are current in India at the present day, but that with ō is unquestionably the one demanded by the history of the word and of the form which other Persian words take on Indian soil. On the other hand “Hindu” is too firmly established in English for us to suggest the spelling “Hindo.”. The word “Hindī” has another derivation, being formed from the Persian Hind, India (Avesta hindu, Sanskrit sindhu, the Indus). “Hindi” means “of or belonging to India,” while “Hindu” now means “a person of the Hindu religion.” (Cf. Sir C. J. Lyall, A Sketch of the Hindustani Language, p. 1).
  2. Sir C. J. Lyall, op. cit. p. 9.
  3. This and the preceding paragraph are partly taken from Mr Platts’s article in vol. xi. of the 9th edition of this encyclopaedia.
  4. In some dialects of W.H. weak forms have masculines ending in u and corresponding feminines in i, but these are nowadays rarely met in the literary forms of speech. In old poetry they are common. In Braj Bhasha they have survived in the present participle.